ABC announces commission of new surfing drama, Barons


• Barons will film in New South Wales later this year and air on ABC in 2022

The world of surfing, the culture of big business, and the rollercoaster of relationships will collide in the new eight-part drama series Barons.  Commissioned by ABC with major production investment from Screen Australia, Barons tells a story about a group of 20-something friends, who all have one thing in common – a love of the ocean and surfing.

Produced by 2Jons, Micanical Media and Fremantle, Barons is created by Michael Lawrence (Bra Boys, Fighting Fear) and John Molloy (The Gloaming, Molly) and multi-award-winning writer Liz Doran (Molly, Please Like Me) with producer Justin Davies (Beautiful People, Absolutely Fabulous) heading Fremantle’s creative team.  Filming in New South Wales, director Shawn Seet (The Code, Storm Boy) will set up the series with Emmy award-winning surf director Taylor Steele (Momentum, Momentum Generation) capturing the action sequences.

Set in the 1970’s, a surf-crazed group of hippy friends turn their backs on the world in search of their ideal patch of surfing paradise.  Little do they know that their desire for ultimate freedom and the perfect wave, will take them from the beach to the boardroom, creating billion-dollar empires.  But in selling their surfing dream to the world, these best friends will become rivals and the question for this found family is – once you sell paradise can you ever get it back again?

Michael Lawrence (Micanical Media) and John Molloy (2Jons) explain: “in the 70s, Australia sat at the edge of the world, an isolation that allowed us to explore who we are, and imagine who we want to be. Barons revels in the energy and potential of this time – the beautiful, the bad, the wild and the unknown. We hope these characters will find a place in your heart.”

ABC head of drama, entertainment and Indigenous Sally Riley says: “With a free-spirited sense of adventure, a cast of extraordinary characters and stunning ocean backdrops, Barons promises to take audiences on an unforgettable ride. It’s a uniquely Australian story from a stellar creative team and we can’t wait to dive into production.” 

Screen Australia’s head of content Sally Caplan said: “We’re excited to support this captivating drama with strong scripts and well-rounded characters from Liz Doran, Marieke Hardy (Laid, Seven Types of Ambiguity) and Matt Cameron (Secret City, Jack Irish), three writers at the top of their game. With Barons, viewers are sure to be treated to compelling storytelling about an iconic aspect of Australian culture.”

Chris Oliver-Taylor, Fremantle CEO Asia-Pacific, said: “Barons is a ground-breaking production, one of Fremantle’s most ambitious for 2021.  We are delighted to be going on this journey with the very best creative talent in John, Mick, Liz and Justin at the helm to tell this amazing story which no doubt will enthral Australian audiences and certainly resonate on a global scale – we are excited to get started.”

Barons will film in New South Wales later this year and air on ABC and iview in 2022. 

Top Image: John Molloy and Michael Lawrence.

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